I got this email while on vacation, but I wanted to address it as it touches a few sensitive issues:
You mentioned Steinbrenner’s inclusion in monument park was “strange” on 8/24. That got me thinking about his legacy as a baseball man only. His main accomplishments are, of course, the championships. How could they not be? However, those championships were created in a large part to homegrown players: Jeter, Mo, Pettitte in the ’90’s and Munson (and others) in the 70’s. These players were “grown” during the two periods Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball and he could not (or was not allowed) to be involved. Just wondering your general thoughts on whether his actual baseball knowledge added to the championships and whether that merits his statue.
– Mike Sweeney
First of all, that posting was done by Brien but that’s only housekeeping.
The larger question is: Who deserves a monument and where do you draw the line? This is, of course, and exercise bound to offend the non-Yanks fans among us who view this as overly self-congratulatory. Yogi Berra, one of the best catchers of all time, a 3-time MVP and owner of 10 World Series rings, does not have a monument. Miller Huggins, legendary manager from the early years, does. With all due respect, if we were building Monument Park TODAY from scratch, Huggins would not have a monument. But he was the first one to be given a monument upon his premature death, so he’s there.
There are five monuments dedicated to individuals, plus one in rememberance of the 9/11 attacks and the victims. The five monuments, in order of dedication:
- Miller Huggins, 5/30/32
- Lou Gehrig, 7/6/41
- Babe Ruth, 4/19/49
- Mickey Mantle, 8/25/96 (plaque awarded 6/8/69)
- Joe DiMaggio, 4/25/99 (plaque awarded 6/8/69)
(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Reader mailbag: Steinbrenner and Monument Park